Meeting targets ideas for obesity prevention grant

Efforts are underway to reduce Jackson County’s obesity rate — the highest in the state in 2012 — and boost obesity prevention through community-specific strategies.

Jackson and Lawrence counties have received a two-year, federally funded grant of $1.15 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help lower the obesity rate in both counties.

The obesity rate in Jackson County was 39 percent, while Lawrence County weighed in at 38 percent.

Teams from Purdue University along with the local Purdue Extension office will be coordinating the efforts with community partners.

The committee will gather for a third time to discuss challenges and strategies needed to reach its vision and how to engage the community in the process.

The meeting will be from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday at the Community Foundation of Jackson County, 107 Community Drive, Seymour, and the public is welcome.

“We need everyone’s voice to be heard,” said Molly Marshall, the newly appointed Indiana Healthy Community Champion for Jackson County. “The work that will be done will be based on community input.”

Marshall will be working with the committee and community to put strategies in place and build community partnerships that will focus on obesity reduction and prevention.